|In a press release dated 00:01, 2003Apr01, Random Hackers, Ink., announced the release of Randlix 0.01, a new Linux distribution. The distro, according to the announcement, includes proprietary code and doesn't exactly look like open source. Our reporter managed to contact one of the principals of this new company earlier today. |
"We are in compliance with the terms of the GPL", said Rupert Goldberg, president and cofounder of Random Hackers, Ink. "Technically, our product is open source. However, we intend to charge $25,000 for a single license of the binary distribution. A coupon for a free copy of the source CD will be included at no charge with each binary distribution and license. The catch, heh heh, is that we bill in two stages. We initially charge only a nominal media fee -- fifty dollars -- for the binary distribution. Included along with the advance binary media kit is the bill for the balance due, $24,950. Upon receipt of the balance due and the coupon, we ship the source CD. No one has yet completed the licensing terms to the point of receiving a source CD -- and we suspect that no one ever will. This method of closing the source of a GPL product does have the disadvantage of rendering all of our binary users uncompliant with our license, but we don't care."
"Technically, we have no official users. There is no one out there who can legally request the source to our Linux distribution. And that's the way we like it."
'Rube', as the Random Hackers, Ink. president prefers to be called, went on to explain at some length how his method of distribution allows the buyer to look over the distribution and, in contrast with many other software products, lets the buyer complete the transaction only after they agree to the terms of the included license.
"We don't believe in the legality of the shrink-wrap license", said Mr. Goldberg. "With our system, there are no surprises. Uh, except one.", he added with a sly laugh.
For more information on Randlix Linux, click the [read more] link below.